Over the last few days the European Championships have been held in Imst and Innsbruck in Austria. The competition has covered Lead, Bouldering and Speed and many of the world's top competition climbers entered.
First up was the lead competition at Imst which was won by Spanish power-house Ramon Julian Puigblanque and successful competition climber and Austrian local Angela Eiter.
Puigblanque came within a cat's whisker of topping out on the men's final route, falling as he lunged for the finishing hold, which put him ahead of his nearest competitor Adam Ondra by just a couple of moves. Virtually onsighting a route of around F8b+ must surely tire even the fittest of climbers, but Puigblanque was straight out on the rock just a few days after the comp (See UKC News) and Ondra carried on competing, securing second place in the bouldering competition.
Angela Eiter climbed extremely smoothly in the women's competition and also fell going for the final hold of her route.
The bouldering competition followed at Innsbruck, the climbing capital of Austria, and the show was dominated by Cedric Lachat of Switzerland. Cedric stormed the final, topping out on all four of the final problems in just five attempts - flashing all but one of the problems and needing just one more go for the other. Adam Ondra came in second place after warming up the previous day in the lead competition.
Austrian climber Anna Stöhr took first place in the women's competition, with the young German Juliane Wurm close behind.
Stew Watson was the highest placed British competitor coming in eighth place and narrowly missing the finals.
Just after his attempts in the semi-finals Stew commented:
"The qualification round was really good, all nice problems that climbed really well, very nice. Now in the semifinals you could tell there were two problems that were typical Percy Bishton made. The setting here at the market place with the mountains towering around is really amazing, but in this round I wasn't really on fire, I wasn't in the zone really. I could have tried a bit harder on the second problem, and on the last - I should have spotted right away that you had to match the hold. Overall though I am quite happy..."
|1||Julian Puigblanque Ramón|
|6||Usobiaga Lakunza Patxi|
|5||Le Neve Melissa|
|5||Ten Sijthoff Casper|
Thanks go to Sarah Burmester of Klettern.de for the use of her photographs to illustrate this report.